Problems ?

Derailed Station Road Steam Stafford class steam locomotive
Teething Troubles
Mechanical Lubricator
Steam Control Valves
Injector / Clack Valves
A fellow club member once told me that "model engineers never have problems, they just have another challenge".  So has the Stafford really had any problems in the first three years that I have been operating it ?
It's a hard question to answer as personally I don't count teething problems as being real issues; they are just something that is likely to happen to any manufactured item (especially if like me you purchase one of the first three to be built).  But if you ignore the teething problems everything else has been resolved from batch two on by design improvements, or it has an element of being a problem created by the engines owner or operator (see Injector / Clack valves).  Whatever; the list on the left will show you what has happened to my Stafford 'Gentoo' so far and how the problem has been resolved.  Just click on a topic to read about it.

As for the photo on this page; it certainly was a problem when the accident occurred but at the end of the day it wasn't a problem with the Stafford, just plain simple driver error.  So far as we could see after the derailment there was nothing wrong with the track, and there was certainly nothing wrong with the Stafford, but at the time I was busy looking down at the injector overflow because it was the first time that I had used the injector while the Stafford was in motion.  The best guess is that I simply failed to see a piece of the building rubble that had been kicked by a wandering "non club" photographer from the spoil heap onto the track.  However it occurred the end result certainly dented the confidence of the driver, and even though it happened at less than 5 mph it gives you an idea of the forces involved when running a 1/4 ton locomotive.